Map Help

What is Map?

Map images show ACCESS or GFS hourly (hourly, 3-hourly or 6-hourly) forecasts over specific regions for the next ten days. The maps display forecasts of total, low, middle and high cloud cover, fog, wind, jetstream, pressure, rainfall, temperature, humidity and precipitable water.

To change the map model, from the Map page, swipe over the model name in the title of the map, or select the ACCESS or GFS button. The map time, type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

To change the map time (+1, +3, +6, +9 ... +240), from the Map page, swipe over the middle of the map horizontally to the right to increase the time, or to the left to decrease the time. The default increment/decrement is 1, 3 or 6 hours. You can also use the buttons under the map to change the time. NOW will reset the map time to the earliest available. 1h, 3h, 6h, 12h and 1d will increase/decrease the map time by the value displayed on the button. Any subsequent swipe over the middle of the map horizontally will change the time by that value. If you move forward/backward past the end/start time, you will move back to the start/end time. The map model, type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

To change the map type, from the Map page, swipe over the map vertically up or down, or select the Total Cloud, Fog (ACCESS only), Low Cloud, Middle Cloud, High Cloud, Pressure/Rainfall, Wind, Jetstream, Temperature, Humidity or Precipitable Water button. The map model, time and region will remain unchanged. The Fog, Pressure/Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity and Precipitable Water buttons are available from the Other Map Types button. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

To change the map region (Australia, SE Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Northern Territory, Central Australia, NW Western Australia, SW Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand), from the Map page, swipe over the region name in the title of the map, or select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button. Select the region required from the list of choices displayed. The map model, time and type will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be reset to the capital city associated with the selected region and be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

What is Synoptic Chart?

Synoptic Chart is the latest colour mean sea-level pressure analysis from the Bureau of Meteorology, updated every 6 hours, freely available (in real-time) for non-commercial use at Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server. To display the latest synoptic chart select the SYNOPTIC CHART button on the Map or Satellite pages.



To animate the synoptic chart images, swipe over the middle of the image horizontally or select the Play/Stop Animation button on the top right of the map or select the Chart Loop/Image button to start/stop the chart image animation. To scrub the timeline swipe the animation horizontally to interact with the images while playing. Synoptic charts over the last 7 days (default) or 14 days will be displayed.

What is the ACCESS model?

Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australian Community and Earth-System Simulator (ACCESS) models - ACCESS-C (city - 1.5km resolution: VT-Victoria/Tasmania, SY-Sydney, BN-Brisbane, PH-Perth, AD-Adelaide, DN-Darwin), with hourly forecast parameters out to 36 hours, updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC); ACCESS-R (regional - 12km resolution), with hourly forecast parameters out to 3 days (+72 hours), updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC); and ACCESS-G (global - 25km resolution), with three hourly forecast parameters out to 10 days (+240 hours), updated 2 times per day (00, 12 UTC), freely available (in real-time) for research use at Bureau of Meteorology OPeNDAP server.

When is the ACCESS model data updated?

ACCESS-C 12 UTC (01:00-03:30)
ACCESS-R 12 UTC (01:00-03:00)
ACCESS-G 12 UTC (05:30-07:00)
ACCESS-C 18 UTC (07:00-09:30)
ACCESS-R 18 UTC (07:00-09:00)
ACCESS-C 00 UTC (13:00-15:30)
ACCESS-R 00 UTC (13:00-15:00)
ACCESS-G 00 UTC (17:30-19:00)
ACCESS-C 06 UTC (19:00-21:30)
ACCESS-R 06 UTC (19:00-21:00)
(Melbourne/Sydney local time)

What is the GFS model?

United States National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global (28km resolution) operational Forecast System (GFS) model with hourly forecast parameters out to 5 days (+120 hours) and 3-hourly forecast parameters out to 10 days (+240 hours), updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC), freely available (in real-time) for commercial use at NOMADS (NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System).

When is the GFS model data updated?

GFS 12 UTC (04:00-05:30)
GFS 18 UTC (10:00-11:30)
GFS 00 UTC (16:00-17:30)
GFS 06 UTC (22:00-23:30)
(Melbourne/Sydney local time)

Animating Map Image

To animate the map images, from the Map page, select the Play/Stop Animation button on the top right of the map or the Map Loop/Image button to start/stop the map image animation. Swiping the map horizontally will also stop the animation. To scrub the timeline swipe the animation horizontally to interact with the images while playing.

The default map animation ranges are +1h to +36h (ACCESS-C), +3h to +120h (GFS),+36h to +120h (ACCESS-R/G) and +120h to +240h (ACCESS-G/GFS). To animate the whole 10 days range select the All/Range Animation icon in the top left corner of the map image.

The map model, time, type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Overlaying Map Image

To overlay the map images, from the Map page, select the base map type, and using the padlock, select the overlay map type. Selecting other map types will either change the base or overlay (if using padlock) layer. To clear the overlay layer, re-select the overlay map type using the padlock.

Switching between Map, Meteogram and Satellite

To switch between Map, Meteogram or Satellite, swipe the website top banner from left or right, or right to left. If you change your map or satellite region and then select Meteogram the location will be reset to the capital city associated with the selected region. If you change your meteogram location and then select Map or Satellite the region will automatically revert to the region associated with the selected meteogram location.

What is Cloud Camera (CLOUDCAM)?

Cloud Camera images from Airservices Australia (Bureau of Meteorology) Live Weather Cameras and The Australian Weathercam Network, and webcams and all sky camera images from various websites around Australia.

To display the nearest cloud camera to the current meteogram location select the CLOUDCAM button on the Dark Sky, Meteogram, Radar or Satellite page. The cloud camera image(s) will be displayed with the cloud camera name, display/hide overlay and astronomy/storm mode toggles, and a list of other cloud cameras. More than one camera image may be displayed by sliding the scroll bar or swiping the screen. Cardinal points will be plotted on top of the image. If Display Overlay is selected, icons for other cloud cameras may be plotted on top of the camera images. In Astronomy Mode, only your selected cloud cameras will be plotted as icons on the camera image, map, radar and satellite pages. In Storm Mode, all cloud cameras will be plotted as icons on the camera image, map, radar and satellite pages.

Displaying Location

To display any location on the map, radar or satellite image, from the Map, Radar or Satellite page, select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button. Enter the postcode or name of your location in the Location field and press enter or select the magnifying glass button. You will be presented with a list of corresponding suburbs if you have entered a postcode, or similarly named suburbs in various states, if you have entered the name of the location. Choose your location and select the Go to Map button to view your location, as a red pulsating pin, on the map. Alternatively, you can select the red pulsating pin to directly access the GPS locator to find your current location, or enter your latitude and longitude coordinates. To remove the location pin displayed on the maps, select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button, and select the now highlighted red pulsating pin to remove the GPS pin.

Tablets and Mobile Phones

The Cloud Free Night website has been optimised for mobile devices. The images will preload to minimize flickering between displays. The load times will depend on your connection speed.

Night Vision Mode

To change your display to a red filter select the moon/star icon in the top right corner of your display. This icon design is also a visual indication of the current moon phase.

Displaying Series Layout

To display a series layout of the selected product select the series layout icon below the moon/star icon in the top right corner of your display. Select the display type required from the list of choices displayed. You can create a PDF file of the selected product series layout if a printer icon appears in the top right corner of your display.

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